He Has My Heart

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I wrote this post ten years ago and I understand much more what Dad was telling me that day. And now Dad and Mom are both with Jesus and all our kids have moved out and we’ve started depending on them more for help with things.

Time and years go by quickly and health changes bring challenges. Arthritis makes simple things like just trying to sleep painful. A blood test requires another MRI to check on what may be happening with the cancer I’m dealing with.

Getting older is hard, but God grows us through it all and gives us grace one day at a time as He watches over us with love…

April 17, 2013
Dad had me help him clean out the linen closet today. We cleared out a couple of big buckets full of stuff. There were things that dated back to when I still lived at home—and that was almost 30 years ago. There were jars full of pretty flower shaped guest soaps that had never been used. There were old bottles of shoe polish, spray cans of Bactine, and old dusty candles. It was a kind of archaeological dig, revealing “artifacts” from many decades.

At the back of the closet was a “find” that I couldn’t bring myself to throw out. It was a light blue aluminum can of Avon perfumed talc. On the back is the Good Housekeeping Guarantee. On the front, the decoratively titled label says, “Here’s my Heart”, surrounded by small gold and white vines and heart shapes. There is still some powder in it, and the scent is strong. And it brings me back to my childhood, and the mom of my youth.

That can of talc was one of those things that seemingly just always was. I grew up seeing it and so it stirs memories of the young pretty mom who took care of me. The mom who sewed me curtains and bought me shiny shoes at Sears. The mom who combed my hair and put it in pony tails, cooked delicious dinners, and bought her kids books from the Dr. Suess Book Club. And the list of things she did, to take care of me and our family could go on and on—all the endless acts of love that I blissfully took for granted.

Before I left for the day, Dad was telling me how much he appreciates me and my brother, James, and all the help we give them. He said, “We’d be in bad shape if it weren’t for James and you.”

“Oh, I haven’t even begun to pay back all you’ve done for me.”

Dad said, “I think you have. Taking care of you, driving you around—I liked that. I would be working out in the garage and I could hear you playing your clarinet, and I knew Michael was in the basement tearing apart and fixing televisions, and James was playing …I liked that. That was the good part of my life.”

My eyes filled with tears and I quickly said my good-byes. His words, “That was the good part of my life,” continue to echo in my thoughts. I don’t like to think that the good part of his life was over thirty years ago. Has the rest of his life been a let-down or bad? When my last child moves out, will the “good part” of my life be over? I see all the challenges my parents have and it’s tough.

Sometimes I wonder if old age is a process God uses to refine and purify us. Life becomes more challenging, in so many ways, as we age. We need to depend on God in deeper ways. As earthly pleasures dim and fade, hopefully spiritual maturity and peace grow stronger and brighter. As “active” ministry slows down, hopefully prayer ministry and wisdom grow ever richer and fuller.

As long as we’re alive, God has a purpose for us. Sometimes that purpose may be the way He grows others who are taking care of us. Every decade and year will have its changes and challenges, but through them all we can trust Him, seek to serve Him, and give thanks in all circumstances.

And we can know that He is always good. And as believers in Him, we can know that the end of the story is good.

I think I’ll go polish the can of Avon “Here’s my Heart” talc. And as I do, I’ll give thanks for the mom I had and the mom I have. And I’ll think about how life changes, but God doesn’t. And I will take comfort in the truth that He has my heart and it is safe with Him. 


  1. I love your writings and can relate so well. Thank you for sharing your heart and touching others. God is using you! Praying blessings and peace as you deal with cancer.

      1. How wonderful to read this because I can relate to so much of it. I am 80, and going through so many health problems, this put it in prospective for me, I so enjoyed this ad so glad you wrote all this down, It has helped a lot of people. You have a wonderful way of writing, thank you!

      2. Oh thank you so much for taking time to comment, Evelyn! I’m sorry you are dealing with health problems, but thankful to hear God used this writing to encourage you! And your kind words encourage me!

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